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Part III: Executive Authorities: Control of the Security Sector

Law No. (42) of 1970 on establishing a bureau for grievances


Law No. (42) of 1970 AD

On Establishing a Bureau for Grievances


In the Name of the People,

The Revolutionary Command Council,

Upon review of the Constitutional Declaration issued on 2 Shawwal 1389 AH,

Corresponding to 11 December 1969 AD; and

● Based on the submission of the Prime Minister and the approval of the said council,


Issued the following law:


Article (1)

A bureau called the “Grievances Bureau” shall be established and attached to the Revolutionary Command Council.

Grievances Bureau may have branches in ministries and provinces, and such branches shall be established by a decision of the chairman of the bureau after consulting with the competent minister or governor.


Article (2)

The Bureau shall consist of a chairman, his deputies, and an adequate number of employees. The chairman and his deputies shall be appointed by means of a decree of the Prime Minister whether by delegation or secondment of one of the employees of the government, public bodies or institutions. Employees shall be delegated to work in the bureau by means of a decision of its chairman after the approval of the entity that the employee is part of.


Article (3)

The Grievances Bureau shall be competent to receive complaints and grievances from individuals and employees; examine and study their issues; and work to eliminate the causes thereof. It shall also be competent to investigate grievances of the bygone era and work to put an end to injustice against aggrieved persons.

In performing its duties, the bureau shall aim to establish justice and rule of law, achieve equality between individuals, restore rights to their owners, remove grievances of citizens, and remove any unjustified encroachment, usurpation, or damage to them or their property.


Article (4)

Any person concerned may submit his grievance, complaint or request to the Grievances Bureau, and no special form is required for such submission.


Article (5)

In the course of discharging its duties, the Bureau may request the competent authorities to provide it with any details, explanations, papers or documents that it deems necessary to study the grievances, complaints or requests.

It may also summon the persons concerned to seek the clarification it deems necessary or to submit any documents and papers they have relating to the grievances, complaints or requests submitted to it.


Article (6)

The entities which the Bureau requests to submit any details, explanations, papers or documents, or which it requests to respond to complaints and grievances, shall respond to its requests within the deadline it specifies. If the submissions are inadequate or irrelevant to the issue at hand, or if the response was intended to delay or procrastinate, this shall be deemed to be a delay or failure to submit what is required or failure to respond to the Bureau’s requests.


Article (7)

The Bureau may investigate grievances or complaints received by the same. The Bureau may also assign such grievances or complaints to a competent authority concerned with the subject matter of the grievance or complaint, and such authority shall do so as a matter of urgency and report the outcome to the Bureau.


Article (8)

If the competent authority finds that the grievance or complaint is appropriate, it shall take the measures or decisions that ensure the redress of the injustice or provision of just treatment to the complainant. If such measures or decisions are within the jurisdiction of a higher authority, it shall refer them to this authority.

However, if the aforementioned authorities deem the grievance or complaint to be unfounded, the reasons for this shall be explained in detail, and the Bureau shall be informed in all cases about the action taken.


Article (9)

Upon identifying the facts relating to the grievance or complaint, and after obtaining and studying all related papers and details, the Bureau may express its opinion thereon and recommend what it deems appropriate in that regard, provided that such opinion is justified. This opinion shall be referred to the competent authority to work on redressing the injustice or harm that occurred to the parties concerned, and this authority shall inform the Bureau of the steps or decisions it has taken in this regard.


Article (10)

If the authority concerned finds that, despite the entitlement of the person who filed the grievance or complaint, there are difficulties preventing just treatment being meted out to him, it shall submit to the Bureau a memorandum of what it deems necessary to overcome these difficulties.

The Bureau may take whatever measures it deems appropriate in this regard, or request the competent authorities to take such measures within the limits of the provisions of the laws and regulations. If these difficulties relate to a deficiency in the laws or regulations, or ambiguity or vagueness in their provisions, or the provisions themselves are unfair or inappropriate, their amendment shall be proposed.


Article (11)

1. If the grievances or complaints relate to administrative decisions issued before the 1st of September 1969, in violation of the provisions of the law or by abuse of power, the persons concerned may, within six months from the date of this law coming into force, file a grievance against them with the Bureau, even if the deadlines for filing a grievance with the administrative authority have passed, or a grievance was previously filed administratively and was rejected.

2. In such instances, the authorities concerned may retract the aforementioned decisions without being bound by the dates set for retracting or rescinding administrative decisions if this does not result in a breach of the legal position or status acquired by third parties.


Article (12)

If the Bureau finds, from its study of any grievance or complaint, that a criminal or disciplinary offense has been committed by an employee, it shall refer the employee to the Public Prosecution or the Administrative Investigation Authority, as the case may be.


Article (13)

If the study or investigation of the grievance or complaint reveals that there is a crime of corruption of political or administrative life as stipulated in the Revolutionary Command Council Decree on prosecuting those responsible for political and administrative corruption issued on 14 Sha’ban an 1389 AH, corresponding to 26 October 1969 AD, the chairman of the bureau shall refer the papers to the Public Prosecution Office to deal with pursuant to the law.


Article (14)

The Grievances Bureau shall be responsible for referring any requests received by the same, containing wishes of citizens, to the competent authorities for consideration, and it may make recommendations in their regard. It may also request the competent authorities to inform it of the opinion it reaches on certain requests that it deems worthy of a response.


Article (15)

The Bureau shall consider all grievances, complaints or requests submitted to the same. It shall respond to the applicant with the decision taken in his grievance, complaint or request, stating the reasons in the case of rejection. Ambiguous complaints may be archived.


Article (16)

The Grievances Bureau shall submit a monthly report to the Revolutionary Command Council and the Prime Minister identifying the grievances, complaints and requests received by the Bureau and the action taken therein, the reasons for not issuing a decision in undecided cases, and the extent of the cooperation of the competent authorities with it. The report shall also contain an analysis and study of the issues subject of the grievances, complaints and requests, and an explanation of the proposals that the Bureau believes would facilitate its work, remove the causes of complaints and fulfill the wishes of citizens.


Article (17)

Without prejudice to any severer penalty provided for in the Penal Code or other laws, any person who falsely files a complaint, grievance or request with the Bureau, knowing that it is incorrect or that he is not entitled to the content therein, shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months.


Article (18)

This Law shall enter into force as of the date of publication in the Official Gazette.


The Revolutionary Command Council

Colonel / Muammar Gaddafi

Prime Minister

Issued on 16 Muharram 1390 AH

Corresponding to 24 March 1970 AD


Text Type:Law
Text number:42
Text date:1970-03-24
Institution:Revolutionary Command Council

Repealed by

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